Michigan, USA
Michigan State University
Assistant Professor of Music Theory, fixed-term (renewable without limit)

Announcement of Faculty Position
Assistant Professor of Music Theory (Fixed-Term)
Beginning Fall 2023

The College of Music at Michigan State University looks forward to welcoming a skilled and dedicated pedagogue and scholar to its faculty and, to that end, invites applications for a full-time, fixed-term Assistant Professor of Music Theory position to begin on August 16, 2023.

The position’s yearly contract includes full benefits, can be renewed without a limit on the number of years, and is conceived as a long-term and vital part of our seven-member team of music theory faculty members. Our new colleague will teach courses at all levels of the music theory curriculum and carry a central, equal voice in theory-area discussions and initiatives. An applicant whose professional passion lies especially in pedagogy would likely find this position’s mix of responsibilities—a higher teaching load than a tenure-stream position, but without the expectation to advance a robust publication agenda—particularly well suited. Our new colleague will interact with our vibrant and diverse student body, work alongside our collegial and student-focused faculty, and participate in our ongoing revision toward an ever more forward-looking and inclusive curriculum.

With approximately 90 faculty members, the Michigan State University College of Music (music.msu.edu) serves about 600 majors and offers a comprehensive range of degree programs from baccalaureate through doctorate. The music theory area (theory.music.msu.edu) features a highly successful Master’s degree program with 12–15 students enrolled at a time. Research seminars and other advanced coursework, an active colloquium series with three guest scholars per semester, and dedicated faculty mentors equip Master’s students with the analytical, research, musicianship, and pedagogical skills to pursue doctoral study in music theory and to present scholarship while still Master’s students. The Master’s program and a Graduate Certificate in music theory also serve composer-theorists and performer-theorists who go on to successful collegiate teaching careers. Finally, the theory area interacts with nearly every student in the College of Music, including undergraduate majors in performance, music education, jazz studies, and composition, as well as Master’s and Doctoral students in performance, composition, and conducting.


• Teach 4 courses per fall semester and 4 courses per spring semester, which includes courses for undergraduates; graduate students majoring in performance, conducting, and composition; and Master’s-level music theory majors.
• Advise Master’s students in music theory and serve on guidance committees for graduate students throughout the College of Music.
• Collaboratively advance the College of Music’s and music theory area’s aims of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
• Participate in theory-area initiatives such as colloquia, guest-scholar residencies, recruiting, and admissions, and provide service to the college, university, and discipline.


• A completed doctorate (ABD considered) by August 16, 2023 (Ph.D. in music theory preferred, but other terminal music degrees considered).
• Successful university-level teaching experience.
• A demonstrated commitment to music theory pedagogy.
• A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

• Demonstrated ability to mentor student research and teach seminars for Master’s-level music theory majors.
• Demonstrated ability to teach effectively at multiple levels (undergraduate and graduate) and on a variety of topics.


To apply, either search for posting #816356 in the faculty/academic staff section of the MSU job postings website (careers.msu.edu) or visit the posting directly at https://careers.msu.edu/en-us/job/512423/assistant-professorfixedterm. Please include the following:
• a letter of application
• contact information for three writers of recommendation letters (writers will be contacted after the application is submitted and asked to submit their letters before October 20, 2022)
• a curriculum vitae
• a 1- to 2-page teaching narrative outlining goals, priorities, and methods as a music theory pedagogue

Later in the search process, candidates may be asked to submit videos of teaching, sample documents used in teaching, and transcripts. Finalists will be invited to the East Lansing campus to interview.


Please direct any inquiries to:
Michael Callahan (mrc@msu.edu)
Chairperson, Music Theory Area and Music Theory Search Committee


Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university is actively recruiting women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities, and individuals from other underrepresented groups who can expand our expertise and partner with existing faculty to engage a diverse student population.